Thursday, July 4, 2013

Meal Planning - A day for everything

Even if you're making your meal plan ahead of time, the question of what to make for dinner can be daunting.  I've found that it helps to narrow down your choices from the get-go.  By that, I don't mean that you should stick to the same 5-meal repertoire (unless that works for your family, of course!).  Instead, try assigning a category to each day, and pick recipes based on that.  Rather than staring into the abyss of Everything You Know How To Cook, your search is focused on one particular category.  For example:

Monday: Soup/sandwiches
Tuesday: Pasta
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Crock pot
Sunday: Cook's choice

Do Tuesday nights consist of running out the door to activities?  Make that an "Eat out" night.  Do you have kids old enough to put together a meal?  Assign them a night.  Would your family enjoy a designated night for Mexican or Chinese food?  Put that on the schedule.

The beauty of this system is that it combines predictability (and thus, reduced effort) with the flexibility to try new recipes or stick with your old standbys.  We all know that there are weeks when you feel up to culinary experimentation, and weeks when you just need to go with recipes you've already got memorized.

If you're looking for a place where this system is spelled out in more details, there are cookbooks like this available.

1 comment:

Margaret Mary said...

I think this is a really great idea - especially once school is in full swing again and everyone is back to a routine schedule.